Month: March 2017

Brussels Sprouts: Robust Flavor For Meatless Days

Usually by March, along with impending snowstorms, I am done with Brussels sprouts. They are one of the few green vegetables that are around all winter. While I was trying to not eat meat during Lent, I re-discovered their robust taste. All it took was to cut the tightly interwoven leafy capsules a little differently, and the flavor unfolded in a surprising new way.

Boiling Brussels sprouts releases their sulfur compounds, not always creating an enticing aroma in the kitchen. Roasting the vegetables brings out the flavor, but it can take up to 50 minutes for the leafy heart to soften. When the sprouts are sliced on the bias, just as you would cut an onion, both of the above issues are addressed. Peeling back the outermost leaf and then slicing through the sprouts eliminates having to discard each of the brown or yellowing leaves; they simply fall away and can be picked out. With a quick misting of oil and a flash under the broiler, the sliced Brussels sprouts become a mixture of charred leaves and a softened core with a crunchy, sweet taste.

Rich in vitamin C and K, the grilled sprouts can be combined with hardy mushrooms to add heft to a meatless meal.

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Brussels Sprouts And Mushrooms

Brussels sprouts – 1 lb

Oyster Mushrooms – ½ lb

Garlic cloves – 5-6, peeled and sliced

Dried red chili – 2-3

Olive Oil – 1 tbsp, plus misting

Salt and Pepper – to taste

Preheat the broiler

  • Chop the mushrooms roughly and keep aside.
  • Peel the first outer layer of the sprouts. Cut the sprouts thinly on the diagonal. Discard any outer leaf that looks old or brown.
  • Put the sliced sprouts on an aluminum foil. Mist them with olive oil, mixing them so that all the sprouts get coated with oil.
  • Add salt and pepper and mix.
  • Broil for five minutes, turning them frequently. Some of the individual leaves will char, but this adds a smoky flavor.
  • While the sprouts are under the broiler, heat oil in the pan.
  • Add garlic cloves and cook until they are lightly browned.
  • Add the dried red chilies and cook until they stop sizzling, a few seconds.
  • Add the mushroom and cook until soft.
  • Add the cooked Brussels sprout to the mushroom mixture. Mix and season according to taste.
  • Serve with grilled salmon or vegetable lasagna.